Audio Active Australia
Founders: Jeremy Bouris, 33, Richard Bouris, 63
Head Office: Victoria
Industry: Wholesale trade
Jeremy Bouris admits he had to talk his father, Richard Bouris, into helping him found Audio Active Australia with him.
The father and son team spotted a gap in the market for selling high-end hi-fi after the global financial crisis, basing their business model on the assumption that the top end of the market would not be impacted as much as the lower-end of the consumer electronics market.
Jeremy says his father, who was formerly a partner at JB Hi-Fi, helped as an investor in the business and now acts as an adviser “looking at things at a high level”.
Jeremy says the advantage of working with your family is “thinking in the same way and having a very similar take on things”.
He says that both he and his father believe that “you need to take risks” while still doing thorough research so precious time and money is not wasted.
“We have tried to be pretty aggressive and we are sometimes prepared to accept a lower margin and give pretty generous credit terms just to get market share,” says Jeremy.
One of those aggressive moves was investing heavily in stock and ensuring Audio Active had good levels of stock on hand to meet customers’ needs from the word go.
“This was difficult because starting a business we didn't know how much we would sell, so we had to take a gamble,” Jeremy says.
“We have been caught out with overstock but then we have been aggressive to get the stock moving.”
He recounts one instance when Audio Active invested in a large shipment of electronics that proved unpopular and the pair were worried it would take years to shift the product.
The decision was made to clear out the products at a low price, even if it didn't make a profit, so the business could invest the funds in more profitable products.
Since it started in the wake of the GFC, Audio Active has been kept on its toes by the structural change in the electronics industry through commodification of electronics, price deflation and pressure from the shift of consumers to purchase online from offshore sites.
“Both retailers and wholesalers of high-end products continually need to convince consumers of the benefits of purchasing our quality products instead of lower-end products from chain stores or online,” says Jeremy.
The team at Audio Active are continually evaluating and investigating new product brands to import, but Jeremy says he is “extremely selective” about what Audio Active imports.
Audio Active staff go to international electronics shows each year to keep up to date with product developments and identify new products.
“We will continually add new brands to our line-up as opportunities arise,” says Jeremy.
“Our goal is to achieve steady, continual growth in terms of number of shops we deal with, and number of brands we import.”
Jeremy says Audio Active Australia’s success comes down to old-fashioned hard work.
“It’s important to have a good idea, but putting in hard work is more important in determining business success,” he says.